Journal of

Rural Social Science

 The Official Journal of the Southern Rural Sociological Association 

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Manuscript Style Guide

The Journal of Rural Social Sciences uses the American Sociological Association (ASA) manuscript style, except where otherwise noted. (See American Sociological Association. 2007. American Sociological Association Style Guide, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.)


Submission Instructions
     Submissions should include at least 2 separate files (more where applicable). The following elements should be included in separate files:

Length, Spacing, Margins, Font Size, Color, and Justification

     All copy; including abstracts, footnotes, indented matter, and references; should be double spaced and no longer than 10,000 words. Lines should not be more than 6 inches long.  Use a single space between sentences. Authors should use a single default 12-point font type (Times New Roman preferred). Any manuscript printed in smaller type will be returned to the author. Font color should be black and authors should not change font color in their manuscript. All text should be left justified.

Title Page   
     The title page should contain the full title of the article, the name(s) and institution(s) of the author(s), followed by a line specifying the title and institutional affiliation of each author. Please indicate to which author communications are to be directed and provide the postal address, email address, and phone number of that individual. In the same file, on a second page, please include author biographies (see the next section for details). These cover sheets will be removed before the manuscript is forwarded to reviewers. 

    Author Biography or Biographies. A short (2-3 sentence) statement that includes each author’s academic/employment position, affiliation, research/teaching/extension interests, recent activities/publication venues, and email address.

     The second page should also include the full title. Do not include authors’ names or affiliations or other identifying information.  In addition, the manuscript abstract should appear on this page. The word ABSTRACT is followed by an abstract of no more than 150 words.  The abstract should describe: (a) the article topic (in one sentence, if possible); (b) the purpose, thesis, or organizing concept of the article and the scope of the article; (c) the sources of data used, if appropriate; and (d) conclusions, recommendations, and implications. Authors should make their abstracts interesting enough to motivate subscribers to read their articles. Any acknowledgements are included as a footnote on this page.

Other Matters
     Begin the text of your paper on page 3.  To permit anonymity in reviewing, repeat the title but do not name the author(s).

     Use footnotes only to explain material that cannot be justified for inclusion in text or tables. Number the notes consecutively, beginning with footnote 1. Indicate “Personal Communications” using footnotes.

     Tables should be constructed with the table facility of Microsoft Word.  Place each table and each figure on a separate sheet at the end of the manuscript. Indicate in the text where each table should be inserted (e.g., “Table 1 about here”) and include the table number and title, in 12-point font. Follow the American Sociological Association (ASA) style for tables.

    Figures may take the form of charts, maps, or photographs. All types of figures should be numbered consecutively. Figure numbers and titles (as well as any relevant notes) should be included in the text, in 12-point font, along with an indication (“Figure 1 about here”) of where the figure should appear. Figures themselves, however, should each be saved as separate GIF or JPEG files. Name files according to figure number (Figure 1.gif, Figure 2.jpeg, etc.). A figure’s title should not appear within the figure, only in the text.
     It is the responsibility of authors to provide Web-ready, computer-generated graphics suitable for publication. Authors should keep the number of colors they use in graphics to a minimum and make sure the colors are distinct. JRSS will not convert graphics to other formats or perform other adjustments such as cropping.  Graphics should not be too large to fit on a typical computer screen without scrolling. Thus, the largest size should be 500x400 pixels. No background graphics are acceptable.

     All figures should have a material impact on the content of the article and should not be used for decorative purposes. No more than 8 graphics may be used with any one article, except at the Editor's discretion.

     Use headings to organize the article. Three headings are generally adequate. The first-level heading is left-justified, and uses all caps. The second-level heading is left-justified, italicized, and all words except prepositions (of, into, between, among, through), articles (a, an, the), and coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or)are capitalized. The third-level heading is indented, italicized, and only the first letter of the first word is capitalized. The third-level heading is followed with a period and is included as part of the text.

Reference Citations in Text
     Following ASA style, cite all references in the text, where appropriate, by the author's last name, publication year, and (when you quote directly from a work or refer to a specific passage) page number(s). Footnotes are NOT to be used for citations. There is no space between the date and page for citations in the text.
     Depending on sentence construction, the citation will appear as follows: Bowen and Finegan (1999) or (Bowen and Finegan 1999). If a page number is used, it follows the publication year and is set off by a colon: Kennedy and Silverman (1985:276).
     Enclose a series of citations within parentheses, separated by semicolons. Place multiple citations in alphabetical order: (Clemente and Kleiman 1997; Kennedy and Silverman 1995; Lee 1992).
     For works by two authors, cite both last names. For three authors, cite all three last names in the first citation in the text: (Carr, Smith, and Jones 1992a:366); thereafter use only the first author's surname, followed by "et al." in the citation: (Carr et al. 1992a:366). If a work has more than three authors, use "et al." in the first citation and in all subsequent citations. 
     Except as noted above in the case of three authors, make subsequent citations of a source exactly as cited the first time. If an author has two citations in the same year, distinguish them by attaching a or b to the year in both the text and the references: (Theodori 1995a, 1995b). Cite manuscripts in chronological order, with earliest dates first.

     Multiple versions of one source: If a source has two publication dates, the earlier date should appear first in brackets, followed by the version actually used, in both the text and the reference section. Example: In text: (Author [1940] 2000) or Author ([1940] 2000); Reference section: Author. [1940] 2000. Title and appropriate publisher information.

Depending on sentence construction, the citation will appear as follows: Bowen and Finegan (1999) or (Bowen and Finegan 1999). If a page number is used, it follows the publication year and is set off by a colon with no extra space: Kennedy and Silverman (1985:276). Authors should always include the page number following the year and a colon, rather than separately, as in (p. 276). As such, it is acceptable for the page number to appear immediately before the quoted material. In a departure from ASA style guidelines, this guideline also applies to block quotations.
Secondary quotes: If quoting a quote/citation from a secondary source, this should be referenced in the text, but without the page number for the original quote. The original source should also appear in the reference section.
Single ‘air’ quotes should only be used inside of another quote, not to distinguish concepts or ideas. Instead, such concepts or ideas should be italicized.

Qualitative Data
     Qualitative pieces should detail both methods and analysis within the text of the manuscript. Quotes from qualitative respondents do not, however, need to be referenced in the text in the same way as literature sources. Instead, authors may write something like, “One respondent noted that….” Or “A recurring theme within the analysis was…” It should be clear whether each statement is part of the literature review or the analysis.

Personal Communications
     Personal communications should be referenced using footnotes, and should include the date of communication, as well as the person with whom the communication took place, either by position or name—as appropriate. Personal communications are not to be included in the reference section.

The Reference Section
   JRSS does not use footnote or endnotes for references, except for Personal Communications as noted above. A “References” section should follow the body of the article. It should include only those sources cited in the article. Correctly formatting citations using ASA style is the responsibility of the author. Arrange the references in alphabetical order, double spaced or single spaced is acceptable. Type the first line of each reference item flush to the left-hand margin; use hanging indent function for remainder of citation. Supply complete information on each reference. There is no space between the issue number and page number (e.g., Journal of Rural Social Sciences 24(3):21-46). Below are a set of general guidelines:


Article in journal:
Miller, Stephen K., D. Clayton Smith, and Larry S. Ennis. 2006. “The Effects of Race, Place, Class, and Gender on Instructional Strategies in Kentucky's Seventh Grade Science Classes:  Individual and School Level Analyses.” Southern Rural Sociology 21(2):65-88.

Lobao, Linda M. 1990. Locality and Inequality. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Edited Book:
Wright, Wynne and Gerad Middendorf, eds. 2007. The Fight Over Food: Producers, Consumers, and Activists          Challenge the Global Food System. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Article or chapter in an edited volume:
Zuiches, James J. 1982. "Residential Preferences." Pp. 247-63 in Rural Society in the U.S.: Issues for the 1980s,          edited by D. A. Dillman and D. J. Hobbs. Boulder, CO: Westview. (for editors use initials instead of full first          names).

Two publications by same author in same year:
Theodori, Gene L. 2004a. “Exploring the Association between Length of Residence and Community Attachment: A Research Note.” Southern Rural Sociology 20(1):107-122.

_______. 2004b. “Community Attachment, Satisfaction, and Action.” Journal of the Community Development          Society 35(2):73-86.

Government document:
Beale, Calvin L. 1975. The Revival of Population Growth in Nonmetropolitan America. U.S. Department of          Agriculture, ERS-605. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Smith, Douglas Clayton. 1996. "Power and Process in the Siting of Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators." PhD          Dissertation, Department of Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Unpublished manuscript:
Mundi, Gloria. 1998. "Environmentalism and Youth Activities." Department of Sociology, St. Pippin's College,          Cincinnati, OH. Unpublished manuscript.

Presented paper:
Zekeri, Andrew A. and Rueben C. Warren. 2011. "Coping with Hurricane Katrina: Psychological Resilience          among African American Families in Rural Alabama." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the          Southern Rural Sociological Association. Corpus Christi, TX. Feb. 7.

Newspaper article (print):
Goldstein, Alan. 1997. "Dying Patients' Care Varies Widely by Place, Study Says." Washington Post, October 15,          p. A1.

Machine-readable data file:
American Institute of Public Opinion. 1976. Gallup Public Opinion Poll #965 [MRDF]. Princeton, NJ: American          Institute of Public Opinion [producer]. New Haven, CT: Roper Public Opinion Research Center, Yale          University [distributor].

On-line journal article:
Wimberley, Ronald and Libby V. Morris. 2002. "The Regionalization of Poverty: Assistance for the Black Belt          South." Southern Rural Sociology 18(1):294-306. Retrieved April 30, 2008          (

On-line newspaper article:
Goldstein, Albert. 1997 "Dying Patients' Care Varies Widely by Place, Study Says." Washington Post, October 15,          p. A1. Retrieved October 15, 1997 (          /15/0661-101597-idx.html).

Internet Site:
MigrationInt. 2003. "Sanctions: Tyson Acquitted, Airports."April, Number 2. Retrieved May 24, 2006          (

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